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Outback Excursion, Day 5

2012.04.02
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Keith
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look at those colors!! CRAAAZZYY
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G'dayy!

Today was our last day on our excursion :( BUT we spent the entire day at Shark Bay and I couldn't been happier about it!! We began with a bush walk with our Aboriginal guide Keith. I don't think I could ever get sick of listening to him talk about his culture. He had an Aboriginal mother and a white father who wouldn't allow his mom to teach him or any of his THIRTEEN siblings about their background. As they got older Keith and his brother Capes (he'll come up again in a bit) began educating themselves on the history behind their people, even learning the language. They are now in the tourist business and spend their time taking groups camping out in the bush and teaching them about the culture they have come to cherish.

After our bush walk with Keith he took us "fishing" but of course we fished like the Aborigines used to! He had the tallest take the ends of a net and begin walking out into the ocean, slowly but surely we all filled in and then began encircling what we hoped would be dinner. I started off by standing on the shore taking pictures but then was ushered in by Keith to fill in some gap in the net, and guess what!? we did catch something! But it was not a fish... there happened to be a Shovel Nose Shark right by Katie (who absolutely freaked out) but I on the other hand wanted a closer look so I began making my way towards Keith who was in the process of freeing him from our net. This creature had the tail of a little Dog Shark but the body of a Sting Ray and the nose of something craazzzy I have never seen before. Corey, Katie, and I got to hold it and it was SO cool!! :):)

After lunch we went kayaking with Capes, Keith's brother. I have never seen such insane colors like those I saw today in the bush--the reddest sand, against the green of the bushes, both contrasting with the aqua blue of the water was unreal. Anyways, so I was partnered with Jack to kayak and we had SO MUCH FUN!!! We got to see several Shovel Nose Sharks some of which were a good 7 ft long. We also saw a ton of Sting Rays, one scared the shit out of me when he swam right under our kayak and was no lie the biggest ray I have ever seen, maybe 5 or 6 feet in diameter? HUGE! Capes also caught us a sea turtle? Literally chased after it in his kayak and jumped on top of it, all so we could hold it and take a picture... crazy man. BUT he did catch an Olive Ridley which is the rarest sea turtle in the world so I was exceptionally happy that he did :) We also made a stop to dig up some shell fish that we later cooked for dinner on the fire. I think one of my favorite parts of the day was talking with Capes about all the research that goes on in Shark Bay on Tiger Sharks, he told me that American students travel there all the time to study them and how welcomed they are by the Aboriginal people. Monkey Mia is also just down the coast where research is continuously being done on Bottle-nose Dolphins. Looks like I may just have to make my way back there some day.

After kayaking we ate dinner which consisted of hot dogs, kangaroo tail stew, fish filet, and shell fish... yup I had 2 hot dogs :) I did try some of the fish AND tail stew though. After dinner we all sat around the campfire and listened to Capes play the Didgeridoo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEgXAu30yuY) <-- theres an idea of what it sounds like. He also shared more with us about the Aboriginal way of life and how they live as one with the land. I think the thing he said that resonated with me most was that he feels as if when people visit places they are so caught up in capturing what they see in a picture that they miss out on really taking in where they are. They end up leaving there with an empty stomach because they haven't stepped outside themselves and consumed their surroundings. Hopefully I can take that idea and use it throughout my future travels.

All in all it was such an amazing day, though not ever aspect of this excursions was up my alley I am very grateful for the experiences we had.

Tootles
Amanda


p.s. I couldn't upload all the pictures I wanted to this day so a few more are posted tomorrow, check them out!!
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